Fly on the Wall

Blogging 101, Day Eleven: Make a Prompt Personal

Today’s assignment: publish a post based on your own, personalized take on a blogging prompt.

If you could be a “fly on the wall” anywhere and at any time in history, where and when would you choose?

It’d be interesting to be a fly on the wall anywhere that Jesus taught. I’d like to hear what his actual words were, not somebody’s translation of another somebody’s interpretation of what Jesus said. I want to know how much Paul just threw in to add his own flavour, as his words have caused more harm and sadness in this world than any other person in history. I can’t blame him one bit. If I were writing gospels now, I would certainly be tempted to add such things as “and it is an abomination to lie on an aeroplane seat as you lie on a bed, for it crushes the knees of the poor chap sitting behind you” and “thou shalt not listen to loud music on cheap headphones so that everyone else can hear its tinny residue”. You know, important stuff, in the hope that it’d stick. I’m being irreverent by referring to it as a flavour. It has more of a “let Daily Mail readers come up with laws” feel to it. Crikey. That’s gone and done it. I’ve referred to St Paul as a Daily Mail reader.

In all honesty, my Bible knowledge could do with some polishing. I had the obligatory Church of England school religious education, and I began to read the NRSV while baby one was a newborn, as something to do while up at some horrendous hour being milked like a fine prize cow. I didn’t retain as much as I’d have liked – I didn’t retain much of anything around that time except baby weight – and I remember getting absolutely stuck on the Book of Job. The translation had a few too many double negatives and some phrases that felt like sarcasm in my hormone-addled state. I came away wondering what on earth the message was supposed to be. I wouldn’t like to be a fly on the wall in Job’s experiences. They sound truly abysmal.

I’d be a horrendous fly on the wall. I’d also be horrendous at Just A Minute, failing for certain for repetition and also probably not being particularly funny. I couldn’t be a bystander to great events – I’d want to dig and prod and find out more than what was going on at the surface. Politicians and statesmen fascinate me – probably more than ever as the result of watching both the new and old series of House of Cards. They have to fulfil this public need for someone calm and in-control, and they (mostly) do it so unbelievably well. I just want to see what’s underneath. Every so often we get a glimpse – Gordon Brown’s wonderful “bigot” remark, or John Prescott punching a protester – but I want more. I want to know the driving force behind their careers and their decisions; how much they truly believe in the individual policies they have to promote in order to achieve their larger goals.

The actual situations in which it would be worthwhile to be such a fly are extremely limited, because the concept seems to rely entirely on the confirmation of facts. Was Queen Elizabeth I really the Virgin Queen? What happened to the ships and planes lost in the Bermuda Triangle? Who was Jack the Ripper? Of course, to have been present at any of these events would present further issues – the very reason for their mysterious nature is the danger or discomfort one would have to experience in order to witness them.

In conclusion, I don’t think I’d like to be a fly on the wall at all. I’m much more of a participator than a watcher.

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